Eastern Caribbean, March 12-19, 2011 - Magical Birthday on Castaway Cay!- LOTS OF PIX

Stinasmom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 18, 2004
I wasn't going to do a Trip Report this time, but we had such a great time and have some really fun pictures, I thought I'd share! :goodvibes

Thought I'd just hit the highlights that might spur questions from people considering DCL or the Eastern, or the Magic. And add pic when I can.

We traveled from Washington State arriving the day before and enjoying a day/night at the Radisson at the Port - Canaveral, that is. Too cold to swim in their amazing pool, but the hot tub was nice.

My DH didn't get there until the day of the cruise having to fly from a convention in Chicago. We were sure happy to see him! So afraid of travel delays or cancellations that could have caused him to miss the cruise!

We got boarding card #2 thanks to a Dis Boards friend. Yea! Getting on the ship is one of those tearing up moments for me (along with the ships horn!)

Before tears:



Kids are 14 and 10. This was our 4th cruise - all with Disney. We have been on the Magic for the Mexican Riveria, the Wonder for a 4-night to Bahamas, the Magic for the Western Caribbean, and now the Eastern.


We are hooked on verandah rooms so were in a Cat. 5C. We like aft so the kids can get to food and beverages easily.
Speaking of beverages, we did bring several bottles of wine aboard and some rum. Love this liberal policy! :woohoo:

Be sure to take advantage of touring the ship on the first day. They don't let you into the kids clubs, Edge, or Vibe to just look around after the first day unless you have a kid there. (and not even then in Vibe!)

On the first night I went to Magic Quest and Match Your Mate at the Rockin' D bar (adult only times). Super funny! DH was too tired having gotten up so early to fly from Chicago, so met some DisMeets friends there.
***Definitely make friends on the Cruise Meets thread before sailing!***
Not only did we have another family that we dined with each night, I found familiar faces when I was out without DH, and DD14 had a friend immediately upon boarding, with whom to go to Vibe with and more comfortably meet other kids.

DAY 2 - FORMAL night & Twice Charmed

First "at sea" day, weather not so good so saw a movie, took the time for a sit down lunch at Lumieres. THEN:

Martini Tasting at 2:30 got the party started!::yes::

DD and I love formal night. Do you ever out grow "dress up?"



We also got our pic with the Captain:



And with Chip & Dale in their formal wear!


With my mom! She and my Stepdad joined us. More on this later.


DAY 3

Second "at sea" day was Cruise casual. Spent time in the windy sun (always windy on deck 10 when the ship is underway. But sun was WARM. It had been a LONG winter, even drove through a snow storm to get to the airport on March 10th.

Saw another movie, did some onboard shopping, and, well, can't remember exactly what else. It's vacation though. Not every minute needs to be filled up or planned out (that came the following week in Orlando when we went to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Discovery Cove, Sea World, and Kennedy Space Center.. Whew!)

It's always fun to come back to the room to see what the stateroom host has left for you. She found one of my tops for this one!



DAY 4 - St. Maarten

We took an excursion not through DCL and were completely happy with it.
The price was really good for an Island tour and hotel/beach visit. About 6-7 hours total.

St. Maarten had some extraordinary views!

I am going to put up pictures on my next post! I am afraid of losing what I've typed so far and want to submit this!

Stay tuned...
 

shera

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 15, 2008
Loving the review,trying to learn as much as I can for our first cruise,thanks for sharing!You have a beautiful family!
 

Stinasmom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 18, 2004
St. Maarten:






And no trip to St. Maarten is complete without visiting the Sunset bar at Maho Beach, or better known and the beach next to the airport!





Here is my Stepdad getting a pic of a plane coming in:


And here is the picture he took:


Imagine when the KLM 747 comes in!

We then got to spend a couple hours at a resort near the ship. It was warm enough but raining on and off.

Here is the hotel:


We could see the ship from here:


Look at the stormy sky behind my mom & I !



And that is why we spent most of the time in the hot tub!


St Maarten was a beautiful island but is stil a foreign country, or rather two foreign countries! Half Dutch and half French. But truly Caribbean. There were also areas that weren't so nice.
On the other hand, there is St. Thomas! That was the next day...
and next post...
 

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  • Stinasmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2004
    St. Maartin day was also Pirate night!





    And here's a lucky Pirate:



    We did make it to deck 10 after (late) dining to see the show and fireworks. It's always busy at these deck parties. This was the first Disney cruise for my mom and stepdad, so we made a point of hitting the big things. Last time I remember watching the fireworks from our verandah as the rest of the family was already asleep!

    Next up ST. THOMAS... (mean it this time!)
     

    Stinasmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2004
    DAY 5 - ST. THOMAS

    Now this island is one of the US Virgin Islands, and you felt like being US it was more familiar... And absolutely gorgeous!

    We booked a DCL excursion with Captain Nautica this time to snorkel spend some time in the turquoise water.

    It was a high speed small boat that got you there and back, no fuss, no muss, to maximize the water time.










    The turtles, rays and fish were much fun to see... in the real setting! We've been to Discovery Cove twice now and Hawaii for that matter, but this area was fun with all the turtles, you had to make a point of not getting too close. But after awhile so many other boats - big ones like the catamarans and pirate ships and the waters got too congested with other snorkelers. We had a head start on them and left for a scenic ride back to the dock.









    And we were not alone! These ships took the parking spots, we had to tender...


    Spent some time back on the ship while still in port... Best time to get a lounge chair!


    And can't beat sailing away into the sunset...


    I have to say though, as beautiful as the sunset was, that ship is the Norwegian Epic -- the most hugest most ugly, monstrosity of a cruise ship I have ever seen!

    Met friends in the adult areas later that night. Always a good time to be had!
     

    Fastpaks

    Living the Dream, One Image at a time!
    Joined
    Nov 18, 2009
    SO beautiful!! St Thomas is on my bucket list! I'm suddenly homesick for my ship on the sea!!
     

    Stinasmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2004
    But wait - Forgot about our PALO dinner on one of the early sea days!!

    Palo is really fabulous. We like to head out early and hit the romantic piano bar for a martini...



    Close up of my yummy drink (oh, and my martini! :love:):


    On to dinner -




    And dessert - souffle of course!


    After dinner - can you tell how STUFFED we are!


    Very nice evening. Palo is really a highlight of the trip!
     

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  • johnsonet

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 3, 2003
    I'm really enjoying your TR! You really know your stuff - and what great photos.

    (The pics of the jet landing in St. Maarten are crazy :upsidedow )

    Can't wait to read more.
     

    nikapluto

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2007
    Love your trip report! We did the eastern in February! We also did the Sonesta at st Martin! Their price was fabulous for the day! Great to see another gal with a love for the martini :thumbsup2
    Can't wait to read more!
     

    Stinasmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2004
    Hi all! :wave:

    Thanks for the responses. This was likely the last of the BIG trips we'll be able to take with our kids -- as kids -- that is. We'll still cruise and are looking forward to going to Disneyland when they finish DCA, but to combine cruising with all that stuff in Florida, whew!

    So it is fun to relive it with pictures, trip reports, and when I get around to it, scrapbooking.

    I did realize that my Stepdad has a bunch of pictures that I'd like to use in this report too, so I may have a couple day delay on finishing it...
    popcorn:: Stay tuned!

    Marcy
     

    kdwebb

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2011
    What a fun trip! Love your bathing suit! (is it weird to comment on that?). And I hope we get to see a turtle on our trip!
     
  • Stinasmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2004
    Guess I better get going on this TR! There's more!

    And thanks kdwebb for the comment about the bathing suit! Not weird at all since I thought it was such a unique find myself!
    We went to Ron Jon's at Cocoa Beach the day before our cruise and I found this one piece that didn't cover my entire back. I don't get why most onepieces do that!:rolleyes:

    So...

    DAY 6 - Sea day and St. Patrick's day :shamrock:

    This was also our Character Breakfast day - of the 9 people usually at our table, only myself and DS10 made it along with a DIS meets friend, Mark and his service dog, Shadow -





    With Mark & Mickey:


    Mark and Shadow with Pluto:


    And then they make you wear funny napkin hats!


    This one was especially silly using the metal plate covers:



    This day was also Semi Formal dress and the Disney Dreams show in the theater. It was very fun to see Disney Dreams again but with my mom and Stepdad who hadn't seen it. Between these great shows and the wonderful luxury of Disney Cruise Line... They are now bigger Disney fans than they ever imagined they'd be!

    Dinner that night was at Animator's Palette:



    And my adorable kids:



    Up next - My Birthday at Castaway Cay!!
     

    wilma-bride

    <<This space intentionally blank>>
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2005
    Loving the trip report so far. The photo of you and your DH on Pirate night is so cute.

    I think we might visit Maho beach at St Maarten - reckon the two little boys in our group might get a kick out of it (as well as the grown up boys ;)). Did you do an excursion in St Maarten or just explore on your own?
     

    Stinasmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2004
    Loving the trip report so far. The photo of you and your DH on Pirate night is so cute.

    I think we might visit Maho beach at St Maarten - reckon the two little boys in our group might get a kick out of it (as well as the grown up boys ;)). Did you do an excursion in St Maarten or just explore on your own?
    Thanks!
    In St. Maarten, we did and excursion on our own called "Island Tour and Beach Break" through Island Marketing, Ltd. Here is the link:
    http://stmaartencruiseexcursions.com/IslandTourBeachBreak.htm

    They take you in groups of about 15 in a large passenger van and circle the island while the driver talks about points of interest and history. They stop at certain spots for pictures or shopping (if there is time - we got caught in so much traffic that we only had time to get a pastry on the French side.) The stop at Maho beach and seeing a plane come in was totally worth the price alone!

    Marcy
     

    SoCaOC-Mom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 30, 2010
    Great TR

    Just curious on St. Patricks day- did they do anything special in the pub, like Irish Music?
     

    WAbeachfam137

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2011
    Great trip report so far, cant wait to hear more! I live in washington too and man is this rain ever going to end, Im ready for some a warm summer! My family and I are going on an eastern cruise next april on the fantasy, we have only done the western so far. And we also plan to do universal after the cruise...did u like doing the cruise portion first?
     

    Stinasmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2004
    Great trip report so far, cant wait to hear more! I live in washington too and man is this rain ever going to end, Im ready for some a warm summer! My family and I are going on an eastern cruise next april on the fantasy, we have only done the western so far. And we also plan to do universal after the cruise...did u like doing the cruise portion first?
    Hi fellow Washingtonian!
    Actually we don't get all that much rain here in E-burg, but it's been COLD!
    Like below freezing at night almost every night, even some snow! (Definitely on the pass, still).
    And yes it was really great to go to warm! Can't wait for summer!

    So, we have cruised at the end of our vacation before, but honestly, we really liked having something to look forward to after getting off the ship. It's sure a transition to restaurants where you pay for each and everything you order and to a condo where you shop, cook, and clean!
    But, if we were going to do it again, we would cruise first.

    Our next cruise will be just right out of Seattle!! I can't believe the Wonder will be right here in 2012! We are so looking forward to driving to the port, taking anything and everything we can carry. And NOT going to any theme parks or airports afterwards. It just sounds relaxing... and easy!

    Marcy
     

    WAbeachfam137

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2011
    Thanks for the advice. And yes very excited for the wonder to port in seattle, although its only a month or so after our fantasy cruise so we won't be going on it. We are hoping it returns to seattle in the future as we are only 30 minutes away and yes it would be nice to drive there and only have the cruise to focus on! I plan to go downtown when it's in port though to see it!
     
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